Definition of henequen in US English:



  • 1A fiber resembling sisal, chiefly used for twine and paper pulp.

    • ‘Baskets, mats, and hammocks are woven from plant fibers such as henequen.’
    • ‘Most in this area produced henequen, an agave fibre that we know under the name ‘sisal’ and which the Mexicans nicknamed ‘green gold’.’
    • ‘He is the author of ‘The Green Republic: A Conservation History of Costa Rica,’ and is completing a manuscript on the history and ecology of the Yucatan henequen industry.’
    • ‘He subordinated most of a wide set of social, labor and political reforms to his overriding interest in realizing a sweeping agrarian reform in the henequen zone.’
    • ‘Countless Yeomem Indians were hanged throughout Sonora, and countless more were rounded up and shipped to Oaxaca and the henequen plantations in Yucatan.’
  • 2A Central American agave from which henequen fiber is obtained.

    Agave fourcroydes, family Agavaceae

    • ‘They labored on vast tobacco, sugarcane, and henequen plantations, in virtual slavery enforced by their continuing debt to the landowners.’
    • ‘Potential sources being tested include soy, hemp, ramie, kenaf stems, pineapple and henequen leaves, and banana stems.’


Early 17th century: from Spanish jeniquen, from a local word.